We’re a greedy lot, we modellers, with of us sharing an insatiable desire for ever more detailed references. We’re now lucky enough to have access to walkarounds and vintage shots that I could have only dreamed of when I began modelling, but there’s always scope for a different approach - which is just what Dariusz Karnas has taken in his recent book, German Aircraft Instrument Panels Vol. 1.
In the 38-page A-4 hardback book, the author has selected six aircraft for this first study:
Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4
Messerschmitt Bf 110E
Fieseler Fi 156
Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3
Henschel Hs 123A
Junkers Ju 88A-4
Typically, each subject is treated to six pages, and each section begins with a brief history of the aircraft along with a period cockpit photo (or in the case of the Fi 156, a diagram from the original manual). The instrument panel is illustrated in full colour with very high quality artwork. The same basic format is used in each case, starting with a view of the complete instrument panel, then with the instruments removed accompanied by a numbered list of what belongs where, before each individual instrument is then shown in an enlarged view. The instruments are named in English, along with their original German name and part number.
The result is a very useful guide for modellers, with the close-ups being especially handy for detail painters. The colours look convincing (although I would have expected to see RLM 66 used on most Bf 109Fs).
The coverage extends beyond strictly “instrument panels” to include gunsights, but sadly doesn’t go as far as showing side consoles and auxiliary equipment which really would have made it a very complete reference for detailing the “offices” of the featured aircraft. As such, I’d have treat the book as very useful backup for other sources, rather than a stand-alone reference. However, as this is only Volume 1, perhaps that’s planned for the future?
But the book’s utility doesn’t end with the featured aircraft. For while six subjects can hardly be described as a comprehensive selection, of course the diagrams of the instruments will be valid for many other German types beyond the ones chosen for the book. That makes this a reference that’ll be handy for detailing the cockpit in virtually any Luftwaffe build.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Very high quality artwork in an attractive and useful format. Useful beyond the featured aircraft.Lows: From a modelling point of view, it would be even more useful if side panels and auxiliary equipment were also illustrated.Verdict: A novel and well produced reference that should work well in conjunction with existing photos.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...